Asia-Pacific Nations Building Helo Fleets

By Tony Osborne
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

But while China may be influencing countries to buy Western helicopters, other nations are looking to China. In November, Cambodia took delivery of 12 Harbin Z-9 utility helicopters, while Pakistan operates a maritime variant of the type.

China is now introducing the Z-10 attack helicopter into wider use, while the Z-19—which features a shrouded tail rotor as a result of its experience with the Z-9—is also garnering more attention. Recent images from China show the aircraft with what appears to be a mast-mounted radar system, allowing the use of a Hellfire-like weapon. There have also been recent flights of the so-called Z-20 utility helicopter, equivalent to Sikorsky's Black Hawk, a type that, if mass-produced, could allow the country to reduce its reliance on Russia for types such as the Mi-17 on which the PLA remains heavily reliant.

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